Fork’n’Talk commenced in the 1980s, initially for parents working full or part-time (probably in their forties) who had teenage children. It was modelled on the concept of the Luncheon Group. At the time, it was simply an opportunity for a group of people to meet for conversation and unwind at the end of the working week on Friday evenings.
The initial venue was the ‘food hall’ adjoining the Convention Centre in Glebe Park. This had a range of meal vendors so children and adult tastes were catered for at a reasonable price. People placed their own orders. The organisational requirements were minimal as no bookings were needed; people could just turn up. The venue space was open, which was good for the children as they did not need to be supervised. The building was OK in the summer but the gas heaters were hardly adequate for winter. After some time, that venue was closed.
Fork’n’Talk then went to various clubs, but the noise of Friday night raffles’ announcements was disruptive. The children grew up and others came whose children had left home, so it became a group of adults.
A next era of meeting in homes commenced, which required a little more organisation, as one needed to know the numbers coming. The host family provided the main course, be it casseroles, barbecue in warmer months, pizza, etc. A small charge for the outlay for the food was collected. The rest of the group brought salads, vegetables, desserts, bread, etc., letting the host family know what they would bring prior to the event.
This approach is still being followed, although at times the numbers wanting to attend have placed a strain on finding a single home with the space to accommodate everyone. As older people have downsized the number of suitably-sized homes available has decreased. So, when necessary, we still go to a club and all buy our own meal, drinks, etc.
The community concept of Fork’n’Talk has been retained and, for those in the initial group, it has lasted twenty plus years. The Friday night meeting time has continued even when many of the participants have retired.
So on the third Friday of every month, the Fork ‘n Talk group meets for an evening of good food, conversation and fun.